Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web can be reviewed at any time. Just click the “See full statistics” link located at the end of the Most Popular Journal Articles list in the PEP Section.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Niederland, W.G. (1957). The Earliest Dreams of a Young Child. Psychoanal. St. Child, 12:190-208.

(1957). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 12:190-208

The Earliest Dreams of a Young Child

William G. Niederland, M.D.

A former patient, mother of three children, provided me with a record of the dreams of her eldest son, Johnny, between the ages of seventeen and forty-seven months. The child, now four years of age, has two younger siblings, two-year-old Charlie and ten-months-old Sandy. The mother, a very intelligent and reliable observer, recorded the child's dreams verbatim each time they were communicated to her or to her husband (or both) by the young dreamer, usually after the latter's awakening in the morning. The dreams, as reported by Johnny, were brought to my attention the same day; their content and wording (if any), mode of appearance, the ascertainable circumstances under which they occurred, accompanying experiences, etc., are presented in the account that follows. Because of their small number—eleven dreams altogether—no attempt will be made to classify them or to use them as the basis for specific formulations on the nature, function, and significance of childhood dreams. A short discussion, in the second part of this paper, is limited to some observations on the child's experiences as well as their relation to the relatively few comparable data in the analytic literature.


Dream I. The first experience reported as a dream was a nightmare and nonverbal. It occurred when Johnny was seventeen months old. The child, usually a sound sleeper, woke up screaming during the night. It took some time, perhaps an hour or so, until the parents were able to calm the crying and obviously frightened child.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.